If your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold, this article should be of great interest. Please bear with me as I compare human teeth to features in a car.
Gears, Shock Absorbers and Sensors
As I have mentioned before, teeth are like gears in a car; they must be in harmony to function correctly. The human brain can perceive disharmony in tooth-to-tooth contact within 30 to 50. That is the size of a dust mute.
Both teeth and cars have shock absorbers. A tooth's shock absorber is composed of millions of tiny ligaments which run from the bone to all surfaces of the root of the tooth. This space is called the periodontal ligament. It is the very small, dark line you see in your dental x-rays separating the root and the bone.
The periodontal ligament acts like a tire sensor. When you have a tire low on air pressure, a light comes on as a warning signal. If you have undue pressure on a tooth or teeth, the periodontal ligament tells the brain something is wrong. Sensitive teeth syndrome is a warning sign that the teeth are being traumatized and are not happy.
Sprained Ligaments Hurt
Sprained ligaments hurt in some form or fashion. If teeth don't hit right, they get moved from side to side instead of up and down. This stretch, bruises and sprains the ligaments which are hard wired straight to the brain. Instead of a sensor light turning on, the person feels pain with each drink of cold water.
Here is the important news; with today's modern dental technology, highly trained dentists can eliminate most if not all pain associated with sensitive teeth. We can now use a special bite sensor to tell us where and how to treat. The technology, called a T Scan, is made by the same company that makes the foot sensors you see in the specialty athletic shoe stores. When a patient bites into the dental sensor, it dramatically shows what side hits first, which tooth hits first, which tooth hits the hardest, which tooth is being torqued, etc. It is an amazing piece of modern technology and extremely precise.
Self-Diagnosis for an Unbalanced Bite- Warning, it takes a lot of concentration
1. Sit in an upright position with the head level to the floor. Slightly separate your teeth. Very slowly let your jaw begin to close and keep closing until you feel ONE tooth touch. Be sure you close on the back teeth and not towards the front.
2. If you are just hitting one tooth way before the rest of the back teeth hit, you could have an unbalanced bite.
3. With your teeth in a closed position, slide them forward as if you were biting a thread. Only the front teeth should be touching. From a closed position, slide your jaw left and right. Only your eye teeth should be touching.
4. Rules for a solid bite: When you close straight down, all back teeth, left and right, hit evenly. When the jaw moves in any direction, only the front teeth hit.
5. Removing the right high spots by 30 to 50 microns can make all the difference in the world.
The rules sound simple. The confusing factor in treatment for tooth sensitivity is the person who is attached to the teeth. Some bites can be totally off, yet the patient can eat or drink anything with zero symptoms. Others can be off balance by microns and not be able to even breathe with their mouth open on a cold day.
If you have head and neck pain along with sensitive teeth, learn why and what to do about it in my book.